Emphysema is a disease of the lung characterised by destruction of the air sacs within the lung tissue. The most common cause is due to smoking, and the most effective preventative measure is to stop smoking. Symptoms are usually shortness of breath and recurrent infections, and patients are often treated with inhalers.
A proportion of patients with emphysema are suitable to surgery. These patients usually have evidence of non-uniform expansion of parts of the lung accompanied by destruction of lung tissue. Surgery would involve removing the diseased parts of the lung, allowing the less affected lung to expand better. The correct time for surgery if usually when significant symptoms develop, as the benefits of the operation does not last indefinitely. In this setting, surgery improves symptoms and prolongs life!
Patients who would like to be considered for lung volume reduction surgery should have stopped smoking, undergone pulmonary rehabilitation and are on optimal medical therapy.
If you would like to be considered for assessment for lung volume reduction surgery, you can contact me for an appointment to discuss.